When reviewing low quality posts, I often find answers of new users, that are just one line and should be converted into a Comment to the question instead (example: https://unix.stackexchange.com/review/low-quality-posts/63725)

How should I handle these?

Often I see that someone says, that it is not an answer and they should comment instead, but that's a problem: you need 50 reputation, so They don't have the privilege to comment on any post yet! That's why they posted their knowledge as an answer instead


3 Answers 3


Getting 50 reputation is not that hard, and there are good reasons why we don't let new users comment. It's better that they get an idea of how the SE system works first.

When you find such answers, flag them as "not an answer" and we'll deal with them. If you flag as NAA, the mods can decide to leave the user another comment or delete the answer or turn it into a comment.


That's why they posted their knowledge as an answer instead

They are not answering the question, though, hence they are not an answer.

They don't have the privilege to comment on any post yet!

Getting 50 reputation anywhere on SE is trivial (I got 300 before I ever needed to comment on something) and in a couple of minutes you can get them (5 upvotes on a single answer, 4 checkmarks, 25 edits, or a combination of the ones before).

How should I handle these?

Flag them, and recommend deletion. That's the only thing that users can do.

  • Using a custom flag such as 'comment as answer - low rep' also helps the mod notice, and not post a pre-formed comment like the OP describes.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:49
  • @J.Musser not all NAA's deserves to be converted to comments.
    – Braiam
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:51
  • Of course not. The OP was asking specifically of comments posted as answers. For other NAA's, flag as such.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:53
  • @J.Musser comments as answers are part of the NAA group. As long as it doesn't answers the question, it isn't an answer.
    – Braiam
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:55
  • 1
    I know. Just saying, if it has the potential to be converted to a comment, using a custom flag is helpful.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:56
  • 1
    As a mod I generally like the custom comment that says: "convert to comment", though it's usually obvious when you look at them. So either is fine.
    – slm Mod
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 1:33
  • Ok. That's what I thought. I think it is not nice formulated to "mark for deletion" if it is a really helpful comment and they definitely shouldn't be deleted
    – rubo77
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 5:38

The major reason why low rep people are not allowed to comment yet, is that comments are not reviewed, so possible unwanted stuff in there is less easily detected (normally only the poster of the Q or A on which was commented gets notified). That is why there is a very small threshold of 50 rep before you are allowed to comment.

If a new user instead misuses an answer area as a comment. It clearly indicates (s)he has not taken the time to get familiar with this sites purpose and rules of behaviour. Whatever the value of the answer as a comment, the poster should be notified and the answer removed or, at the mods discretion, converted to a comment.

In the particular case you indicate, the "answerer" was the Question's OP. And (s)he could have commented below the Question, or edited the original Question if more appropriate. That someone comes to U&L with a question and expects others to invest time to answer, without investing the time to learn how to properly use the site themselves is something that worries me a bit.

What you should do is flag the item independent of the posters reputation. In addition down-vote it if the answer-comment is not useful, you will get the rep you loose for down-voting back, if the answer gets removed/converted.

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